Advance payments worth over €134m under the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) began to issue to farmers on Tuesday.
Announcing the payment run on Tuesday, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the payments are being made two weeks earlier than last year and to a higher number of farmers than previous years of the scheme.
“I am delighted to confirm that that GLAS advance payments are commencing this week, with 38,000 farmers receiving payments valued at over €134m. These payments are a valuable support for farmers across Ireland and are a welcome boost to the wider rural economy.
“I am delighted that these payments have commenced ahead of schedule and 10 days earlier than last year. I have also secured EU Commission agreement for the higher advance payment rate of 85% for 2019.
“I am happy to confirm that the number of farmers paid in this initial tranche of advance payments represents an increase of 5,000 over the number of farmers paid in the first round last year.”
Minister Creed said that GLAS is Ireland’s flagship agri-environmental scheme and is delivering significant climate, biodiversity and water quality benefits on Irish farms.
“It is important to recognise the value of these public goods and the role which the Common Agricultural Policy plays in delivering them. I would encourage all stakeholders to engage with the CAP consultation process currently under way to help shape the future of Irish agri-environmental policy,” he said.
Payments will continue to issue under GLAS as individual cases are cleared, with weekly pay runs.
Farmers who have been contacted by the Department with queries in relation to their applications or have outstanding documentation such as rare breed or low emission spreading forms should respond and ensure they meet the scheme requirements at their earliest convenience in order to facilitate payment.
The Minister also urged the small number of GLAS three participants who have not yet completed a GLAS training course to do so immediately.
The GLAS helpdesk for farmers with queries can be contacted at 076 106-4451.